We’re headed inexorably towards the end of the year and I really should look back at what sticks in my fluffy noggin in regards to this absolute hell we’ve lived through. A year in review definitely doesn’t go, “Half a star, would not live again.” I have been tempted to title this entry with that, but no. I prefer my catchphrase for this year. It’s been full of disasters both natural and man-made, and an orange egotist in the Whitehouse making it all infinitely worse by just being himself.
You know the one. He lost the election seven times, the last time I checked. Most hilarious was when he paid for the alleged privilege. Schadenfreude tastes lovely. Especially when it’s citrus flavoured.
This has been The Year of The Plague, and it likely won’t end until next year when everyone’s had the vaccine. That’s slated to be about half-past October, at least in Australia. The anti-vaxxers all over the globe will likely remain a problem there. I do remember that I started into sourdough at about a week before everyone and their kid brother’s dog decided to be bake-aholics and emptied the shelves of any and all flours. Keeping my Starters alive was a stresser for a solid month until I got my hands on a big bag of At Least Something. Even though it was the wrong something.
Honestly, I was more concerned about Australia being on fire at the time. The plague didn’t make it into my conscious mind until early February, when the impact was “Make a mask so you don’t stress the hospital supplies.” And this time the similarly-minded folks in Spotlight were polite and orderly. Yay.
March was the month that dragged. We were all sheltering in place and I could not watch anything new. I remember watching all of Critical Role from their first episode on YouTube through to Season Two. I could barely write my Instants, and the roleplaying nerdy-arse voice actors was my chillax reward when I got that done. I was in risk of losing my Never Stop Writing crown. At least I could do one thing and that was my thread to cling to.
April was when things started to turn for everyone else. I was a paranoid wreck, keeping Chaos at home until I was certain that they were looking after the protocols. I was desperate for a decent source on the plague, and sending Beloved out to get things. I was spiralling and I knew it. Keeping the cats, the kids, and the Starters alive was one of the threads by which my sanity was suspended. The daily Instant got easier and, when it did, I set myself the daily goal of one hundred words.
School holidays hit my ability to write in my novel a little hard. We still haven’t returned to see movies in the cinema yet. Around the time of May-June, I started one of my multitude of Terrible Tiefling Tales. I also discovered that I could mail-order organic stoneground flour and that has saved my anxiety regarding my Starters.
It was a year of very small celebrations. It’s hard to party when (a) everyone’s far, far away, and, (b) everyone’s paranoid about the plague.
I do remember a flock of Karens causing outbreaks by protesting the things that would have ended the plague’s presence earlier. The protestors in Brisbane did not end up spreading the plague and that’s one thing for which I am eternally grateful. The continuing mess in New South Wales and Victoria have -eventually- made all the Karens shut up about the border closures.
Nevertheless, we are still somehow host to the UK and South African strains of the plague. Brought in by travellers from overseas. Until the jab has gone around the globe, we can’t afford to not be paranoid about this bloody thing. Just because we know how to survive it, now, doesn’t mean that that is without caveats. Uhm. There might be an easier way to say it. “Survivable” doesn’t mean, “back to full health afterwards” for all survivors.
The other half of the year raced, somehow. I managed to finish Kingdom of Sand: Border of Bones in these months. It was slow going, but I got there. I’m taking an extended sanity break until I achieve a new normal where I’m mentally stable enough to write a whole ‘nother book. Whichever one happens to tickle my fancy first. I have a lot of ideas. Enough to theoretically keep me busy until my eighties. And I have just now realised that my list of ideas is still in the drive of my now-almost-defunct iMac. Whoops. Gotta transfer that at a later date.
I do remember a lot of hope that the orange menace would get the bad side of the plague when he caught it. Unfortunately, he got the best possible medical care on the taxpayer’s dime so he could continue to downplay how bad the plague is for his trusting followers. Followers who were dying in denial or poverty because that kind of medical care costs billions. The betrayal is so strong, I can’t fathom how the loyal don’t sense it. But that… that is the nature of loyalty. It can hurt the loyal, if they follow a despot.
The good things were few and far between this year. Things to laugh about were brief and easily forgotten. Efforts to make things happen stalled when I hit the Incompetence Wall. I did watch another animatic video become a complete-enough thing from Toastyglow’s hands. There’s an intermediary fid still in progress and I will gladly watch that happen in the opening weeks of this year coming.
I tried and failed to find an agent or publisher, this year. I’ve been called a “gender-bending Tumblrina” and accused of writing “LGBT+ propaganda” so that might be part of it. Honestly. You expect things to stay exactly as they are in the firkin future? What’s the matter with you? The morals of 500 years ago would be incomprehensible to you. The morals of 500 years hence would be equally as baffling. But I digress.
I’ve honestly been not confident in looking for most of this year. I’m not writing at my usual pace, I should not be seeking representation. That’s my illogic and I can’t shake it off. No good saying I never stop writing if… I actually stop writing.
Someone help me bully past this and get my books out on the bookshelves of the greater world. Or, better yet, point my stuff out to an agent who’ll actually be in my corner. If one exists. I’d love it if one exists. Ahem.
This year has been going on forever. I should be counting the hours until it’s over. The bad news is we will probably have more of such nonsense in 2021. Because next year will be mopping up a lot of the mess created by this year.
And -oh yes- Australia is due some flooding instead of being on fire, this time.